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Go for a tie in this one. Sevilla have drawn both of their games in the Champions League so far and the scores could finish level in this match too.
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Arsenal were not at their best against Chelsea on Saturday. Trailing 2-0 with 15 minutes left to play, it looked like Mikel Arteta’s men were heading for their first defeat of the Premier League season. But this current Arsenal side is made of stern stuff.
Goals from Declan Rice and Leandro Trossard saw the Gunners restore parity in dramatic fashion. They might even have emerged victorious from their trip to Stamford Bridge: Eddie Nketiah flashed a shot just wide of the far post as Arsenal sought an unlikely winner.
Both Chelsea and Arsenal gained a point from the 2-2 draw, but it was Arteta who was the happier manager afterwards. His team possesses character and determination in abundance. Even when they are not playing well, Arsenal are capable of picking up positive results.
Attention now turns back to the Champions League as the midway point of the group stage approaches. Arsenal still have work to do as they plot a path to the knockout phase in their first season back in this competition since 2016/17, Arsene Wenger’s penultimate campaign in charge.
The Gunners kicked things off in confident fashion, thrashing PSV 4-0 at the Emirates Stadium on matchday one. But their next fixture did not go so well, as Arsenal suffered a 2-1 defeat by Lens in France.
The north Londoners remain the favourites with the best online sportsbooks to win Group B, but Arteta will not be taking anything for granted.
Arsenal did not do themselves justice in that loss to Lens, but a subsequent victory over Manchester City and Saturday’s comeback against Chelsea should give them confidence for this trip to Spain, where a win would put Arsenal in a very strong position after three rounds of fixtures.
Few teams have been as successful in European soccer as Sevilla over the last decade. This is a club that knows what it takes to lift trophies in continental competition. However, the Champions League is not the tournament where they have achieved their glory.
Instead, Sevilla have won five of the last 10 editions of the Europa League, UEFA’s secondary competition. That is a remarkable run of consistency, especially as the winners of that tournament automatically qualify for the Champions League.
For whatever reason, Sevilla have largely struggled to make the step up. In the last two seasons, they finished third in their Champions League group, dropping down into the Europa League as a result. Sevilla have only reached the knockout rounds of the Champions League once in their history.
That raises the question: is it preferable to reach the last 16 of the Champions League or to win the Europa League? The number-crunchers at the Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan may opt for the former, but almost every supporter would choose the latter.
Unsurprisingly, Sevilla is currently third in Group B. They have drawn both of their games so far: 1-1 vs. Lens and 2-2 vs. PSV. They also picked up a point in La Liga at the weekend, holding Real Madrid to a 1-1 draw.
Jose Luis Mendilibar was the manager who led Sevilla to another Europa League triumph last term, but he was replaced by Diego Alonso earlier this month.
Sevilla have lost just one of their last eight games in all competitions, and that was a narrow defeat by Barcelona, so this will not be a straightforward assignment for Arsenal.
Sevilla have drawn almost half of their 13 games in 2023/24. They are struggling to pick up wins both at home and in Europe, but they have shown themselves to be a tough nut to crack at the same time.
A draw here would not be a disastrous result for Arsenal. They have two more home games on the horizon after this and will fancy their chances of beating both Sevilla and Lens in front of their own supporters at the Emirates.
Both teams had tough games in their respective domestic leagues on Saturday. Playing at home immediately after a fixture against the likes of Real Madrid or Chelsea is an advantage, and Sevilla have not lost any of their last six European encounters at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.
With all that in mind, we like the look of the draw at +280. Back the scores to finish level when Sevilla do battle with Arsenal in the Champions League on Tuesday.
Greg Lea is a freelance soccer journalist from London. He is the former editor of The Set Pieces, and has contributed to the Guardian, FourFourTwo, and ESPN. A Crystal Palace fan, he is a long-time subscriber to the belief that it's the taking part that counts. Email: [email protected]More info on Greg Lea
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